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it's an IR world

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About it's an IR world

  • Rank
    Caffeinated

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    California
  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    MSFS - Global Politics & Security

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  1. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/03/top-twenty-five-schools-international-relations/
  2. Congrats on MSFS and the scholarship! Isn't tuition closer to 45k a year though? I think they max the aid out at 1/2 tuition.
  3. I'd be wary of putting down more than one deposit -- a lot of these schools are operating on good faith and you're typically agreeing when you put down your deposit NOT to do the same at another school. Not to mention the implications this has for folks on the wait list.
  4. So my sense is that Georgetown would help more with your career goals, though I don't doubt Chicago could also get you there. What gives me most pause about Chicago is that it's a one year program (can you learn all you need in 9 months?) and much more geared towards folks who want to pursue a phd and not go straight into the work force. The average age at at Chicago is also much younger than at Georgetown (something like 23 at Chicago and 27 at Georgetown), so depending on your age, you might feel more comfortable at one school or another. It's a good problem to have though, isn't it?
  5. The MSFS website says they aim to give funding to about 30-40% of incoming students. https://msfs.georgetown.edu/admissions/financialaid/students
  6. I think one of the biggest determining factors is whether you want to go to a one-year program or a two-year program. Are you leaning towards more or less school?
  7. I didn't find grad cafe until I had submitted ALL my applications (around January), but it's been a big help. Obsessively refreshing the forum and results pages gave me an illusion of control, at the very least. I actually stumbled across grad cafe after googling "what do I do now that I've submitted my applications". Previous Schools (Name, type, or tier): Public school (UC), ranked 40th by US News Previous Degrees and GPAs: BA World Literature & Minor in Professional Editing/Writing - GPA 3.6 GRE Scores (Verbal/Quantitative/Analytical Writing): 161 V / 150 Q / 6 AW Previous Work Experience (Years, Type): 6.5 years - 5 years at Middle East/North Africa focused NGOs, 1.5 year at environmental NGO Math/Econ Background: True fact: I haven't taken math since pre-calc in high school. Will be taking micro/macro before starting this August. Foreign Language Background (if applicable to your program): Critical language (native speaker) and French (5 years studied) Intended Field of Study in Grad School: Global Politics & Security Long Term Professional Goals: Foreign Affairs Analyst for State Department (gotta get that G15!) Schools Applied to & Results: Applied: American SIS (accepted), U Chicago CIR (accepted), Columbia SIPA (accepted), Georgetown SFS (accepted with scholarship), Johns Hopkins SAIS (waitlisted). Also applied to three throw away schools (safeties?) -- don't do that. Ultimate Decision & Why: Georgetown SFS. First off, they gave me a generous scholarship, which alleviates half of my debt concerns. Aside from that, the big draws were a mix of ranking, prestige, DC location, focused and flexible curriculum, small class sizes, and significant attention from faculty. I think I can get more out of a program 90 people big than out of a program 400 people big. Advice for Future Applicants: My saving grace was spreadsheets. Lots of them. A sheet for each school, color coded and giving me a quick overview of everything I need to know about the program, past student profile stats, due dates, application fees etc. Take the GRE early and often. I started studying for the GRE in August, took it in October and then again in November. I'd recommend starting to study no later than March and getting the GRE out of the way by the end of Summer. You don't need a prep course if you're good at book learnin'. Notify your letter writers a few months in advance (September-ish) and make clear when the deadlines are for what. Be specific about what the letter should reflect in terms of your strengths and make sure to send them a copy of your SOP so they have a sense of where your head is. Don't apply to throw away schools (schools you KNOW you won't go to). I had a panic moment and applied to three schools I didn't want to go to, effectively wasting about $500. Be genuine in your SOP. You don't need to write 5 different ones -- tell a story about your background and motivations and tailor each version to relate specifically to how that program's specialties and concentrations can help you meet your long-term goals. Relate it to current events if you can. And make sure you get it proofread and edited by as many different types of people as possible. I had friends ranging from business gurus to finance folks to policy wonks review my SOPs to make sure it spoke to every aspect of IR. All in all, just make sure to give yourself enough time to submit your apps. I didn't start writing my SOP until the end of November and between edits and back-and-forths I was cutting to close every time. Honestly, most of my apps were submitted at 8:30pm PST -- about a half-hour before the cutoffs. Nobody ever said I wasn't a fantastic procrastinator.
  8. This. This is exactly why I'm going back to school. I've been working at policy/human rights/international relations NGOs for nearly seven years now, but I've hit that cap. I'm eager to learn and get back into the foreign policy field with a grad degree -- and hopefully will make an even bigger, more educated splash with that Masters.
  9. I've decided on Georgetown's MSFS. At the outset of the admission's process, I had my heart set on Johns Hopkins -- mainly because I'm a little quant challenged and I was determined to prove to myself that I could do it. After I was waitlisted at JH (again, for being quant challenged) -- and before finding out I was accepted to Gtown -- I figured I'd probably just go to SIPA. While Columbia's SIPA is a fantastic school, I'm not keen on New York and I'm trying to move OUT of the NGO world and into government. That combined with the large class sizes and the mandatory management classes, however, had me less than enthused. But I figured that because I'd been waitlisted at JH, I'd be flat out rejected from SFS. Turns out that I got into SFS with an unexpected merit scholarship and I realized, after spending just a bit of time mulling, that SFS is actually the perfect program for me. I want to be in DC. I want small classes where I can get to know my peers and professors. Those were reasons I seriously considered UChicago's CIR over other schools for a while. I came into the process thinking of Hopkins as a reach school and Georgetown as unattainable. But the universe works oddly, and it worked in my favor this time. All that said, not receiving funding from any school but Georgetown also made this a pretty easy decision. But it was the icing on the giant molten lava cake that embodied (emcaked?) the end of my admissions cycle.
  10. I noticed there wasn't one for us! So... where are all my MSFS-ers (and SSP-ers) at? What's your story? Favorite ice cream flavor? And how'd you end up deciding on SFS? Edit: Sorry SSP folks, didn't mean to exclude. Feel free to jump in!
  11. Their financial aid page is super helpful, I just finished reading it: https://msfs.georgetown.edu/admissions/financialaid/students The award letter I got only had numbers for the 2015-16 year, but it seems with a 3.3+ GPA you can get it renewed for a second year (the merit-based one at least).
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